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Opposition Candidates Reject Use Of Card Readers, Threaten To Pullout Of Polls

From Ganiyu Nasirudeen, Abuja – Anticipating what they consider as unforeseen challenges from the use of the proposed card readers,15 out of 25 registered political parties in Nigeria and five of about 10 Presidential candidates have indicated they will not participate in the Saturday, March 28, 2015, rescheduled Presidential election.

INEC-card-reader1-300x187Speaking at a press conference Wednesday in Abuja, on behalf of his other counterparts, National Chairman of the opposition Advanced Congress of Democrats, Dr. Breakforth Onwubuya, faulted the use of the device as planned by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as he claimed the approach was susceptible with many implications which in the end, might frustrate conduct of a “credible, free and fair elections.”

According to the aggrieved parties and their candidates, the first challenge was the fact that the device was relatively a new technology which they complained has not been tested or tried in a mock or previous elections before now.

With a dummy trial, the parties argued that INEC would enable the nation and the electoral body to properly ascertain the work ability and efficiency of the equipment in the conduct of the polls.

The parties and their candidates expressed reservation on INEC resolve to commence the test-run of the use of Card Readers in some selected states across the country on Saturday March 7, 2015, just less than three weeks to the commencement of the re-scheduled election, contending that the short exercise would not provide the commission enough time to rectify whatever anomaly that would likely arise from it.

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